Saturday, July 11, 2009
We visited the Cape of Good Hope today. Along the way we stopped in Simon’s Town and saw some penguins. I brought along one of the Flip video cameras that were donated to leave in Africa and was able to capture some video footage to take back for students at home to work with.
I often say that teachers do all the things we wish our learners would not. In workshops, they read ahead, call out without raising their hands, talk amongst themselves when a presenter is speaking, etc. At one point on today’s trip, we pulled over to the side of the road to see some baboons. Typical of teachers not doing what we would expect of our learners, we did not read the signs carefully enough. We got out of the car so that we could get better pictures. As we moved away from the car, the alpha male of the baboons strode up to the driver’s side door. Ignoring the partially open window, he stood on his hind legs, grasped the handle and opened the door. Before we could even react, he was inside, riffling through our things. As we opened and closed doors, honked the horn, and generally shouted and shooed him out, he grabbed a team member’s backpack and dragged it to the middle of the road. Much to the delight of other passers-by, he proceeded to fling its contents onto the road as he searched for the food inside. When he was done, we managed to retrieve the bag and continue on our way with a great deal of laughing. It was one of today’s highlights. Lesson learned: pay attention to the signs.
What we reached th Cape of Good Hope, we climbed up a lookout and stood at the most South-western point on the African continent. A storm was moving in as we climbed the steps to the look-out. At times, the wind felt as though it could blow us away. At the top, I actually closed my eyes and spread my arms. I concentrated on just feeling the wind. It was wild, rough, and strangely cleansing. I thought about the early explorers who first rounded the Cape of Good Hope in search of a sea route to the East. Did they put in to shore as they rounded the point? Did they climb the same lookout and cast their gaze to the east? Did they have a celebration on the beach when they realized their success?
It was wet, windy weather, but all in all, a great trip.